Is There Something Wrong With a Man in His 40s Who Has Never Been Married Before?


I’m currently speaking with a guy from Yahoo personals, he’s 42 and still single, never been engaged… This is a big red flag right? We have been talking for the past month and a half via the phone, I’m in Minneapolis, and he’s in Chicago. We have great long conversations, many that last 5 hours long, he’s commented how great our conversations are. He’s attractive too. How do I know if he’s just another “nice-player”? They are slick today. It seems many are online with no intention of getting serious… I just told him that it’s wild we have great chemistry but we could meet in person and realize that we are not physically each other’s type. To me, as naive as I am, I’d like to think he is not a “player” trying to work me over because we have these long conversations with a lot of depth to them. Our emails were very long to begin with too. Please give me some perspective and advice on this situation.

Dear Kate,

You’ve got four different questions going on here.

There is “How do I know if it’s worth it to try a long distance relationship?”

There is “I don’t want to be the victim of a nice-player in a long distance relationship.”

There is “I’m falling for a guy that I’ve never met but have talked to on the phone for 6 weeks”.

Is there something wrong with a man in his 40’s that has never been married? My answer is predictable: Yes… and No.

If you read the above links, your dreams will be summarily dashed – not because he’s necessarily a player, but because the odds of ANY relationship working are slim, the odds of an ONLINE relationship working are slimmer, and the odds of a LONG-DISTANCE online relationship are the slimmest – especially when you haven’t even, um, y’know, MET yet.

That said, the part of your question which really intrigues me is the “red flag” question:

Is there something wrong with a man in his 40’s that has never been married?

My answer is predictable: Yes… and No.

This is where I would make an argument that stereotypes exist for a reason. The unhealthy part of stereotyping is not necessarily the stereotype itself, but the assumption that ALL people in the category fit the stereotype.

Thus, if you have preconceived notions about gorgeous people, rich people, short people, gay people, Irish people, etc – those notions probably came from SOMEWHERE. They’re not pure fabrications.

Jewish people like playing Twister on the lawn is a fabrication.

Jewish people are often highly educated and highly neurotic is not.

Are we together on this one? Good.

So there’s the stereotype of the forty-something bachelor – and it’s a valid one. He’s a player. He’s a Peter Pan. He’s a commitmentphobe. He’s too picky. He’s emotionally unavailable. He’s a heartbreaker. He’s unrealistic.

All of those things are likely contributing factors as to why a man might be 42 and never married.

So now you’re faced with this very real dilemma – is this man a victim of circumstance, or is he the common denominator in all of his relationship failures?

But what if he was living with a woman for seven years who didn’t believe in traditional marriage? What if he was in a three-year relationship with a woman who cheated on him? What if he was once ready to propose and she ended up breaking his heart? What if he spent five years in a dead-end relationship and has had difficulty getting back out there? What if – god forbid – he made a bunch of bad dating decisions and just hasn’t met “the one”? (Hey, all of us want to think that about ourselves – let’s just say for argument’s sake that it’s true!)

So now you’re faced with this very real dilemma – is this man a victim of circumstance, or is he the common denominator in all of his relationship failures?

And I think it would be very easy, and coldly logical, to say BOTH.

This doesn’t mean you should enter into a relationship with a forty-something bachelor with the expectation of failure.

It does, however, mean that he didn’t become a forty-something bachelor by making great decisions in love.

Click here to learn the 5 Massive Mistakes You’re Making In Your Love Life – And How to Turn Them Around Instantly!

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  1. 181

    I don’t see it as a red flag or anything wrong with it, maybe they just haven’t found the right woman yet, we all can’t settle for less, everyone should deserve better

  2. 182


    …I agree with you…  

  3. 183

    I know this article might be older but thought I’d add something to it for people to read. I am nearly forty years old now, a male and have never been married. I’m not a player – that’s pretty hard to be when you’re so introverted.   I was always shy but came out of it in my twenties.   Unfortunately I chose the wrong things to combat my shyness and depression.   I partied a lot and after the partying was over I was alone and addicted to pretty much everything.   I made a promise to myself that I would not drag anyone else down with me and avoided relationships, even after I met someone that I loved very much.   I didn’t fight for her and let her go, even encouraged it in a round about way  because it wouldn’t have been fair to put her through living with me at that time.

    So years later I’m clean, sober but still not quite there yet.   I’m not even close to where I need to be to feel comfortable sharing my life with someone.   Once I’ve gotten rid of some of this baggage then maybe but I’m not looking.   If it happens then it happens but I will have to be straight up with any woman right off the bat which is only fair and it probably also means there will be no second date but that’s okay.   I’d rather be honest  than to   hurt someone later on down the road   So what I’m saying is there are a lot of reasons men and women may be single at forty.   Some good and some not so good.  
    On another subject (sorry I’m not trying to hijack the post) wouldn’t you like to know that the person you’re dating has been an addict or alcoholic or had problems in their past whether it’s a criminal record, depression, etc?   When’s the right time to tell someone?   Right away? First date, second date, etc.   I just choose to be honest from the beginning because it just feels like the right thing to do.  

    1. 183.1

      ..a seeing a dating coach makes a big difference…

  4. 184

    I turned 40 this year but have never been married. I lived in many countries, tried to start my business. I have fallen in love several times in my 30s but it didn’t work out. I am a good looking, athletic guy but I was too sensitive and not as persistent as the other guy and the other guy usually white so half their battle was won. I found the lady would go for a guy who is less sensitive usually simply because they persisted. Many times the lady would come around once they got to know me and be interested in me but often by then I was not interested because I felt they were superficial (as in I am not white).   I met a great lady (27   yrs) three months ago but she is moving overseas (just had her farewell a few days ago). She has invited me there but that is a jump I am not yet ready to do. I met another beautiful 22yr old when out dancing and she doesn’t seem to put off by my age but I am taking it slow. We hit it off instantly. She is going traveling soon but we plan to catch up when she is back. One good thing about being 40 is that I know what I like more than ever. I have come to accept that most girls prefer white guys (regardless of what they may say) and that is just how the world is. The rare exceptions are worth the wait. I grow older but I still pass for 25 and I am patient.

  5. 185

    This man is dating you long distance. That makes it more difficult for him to meet you, but easier to date and talk. Why is this guy over 40 not dating locally?

  6. 186

    In making stereotypes of behavior based off posts here, do keep in mind that those with a point to make — for good or ill — are the ones most likely to post online in comment threads. The anecdotal material here is hardly representative of men and women as a whole.

    Myself, I’m a 34-year old unmarried man with no relationship experience, but I attribute that to health issues in my latter tens/early twenties followed immediately after by becoming the caretaker of first my mother (after a series of heart attacks followed later by a fatal stroke) and since my more-elderly father (who turns 80 in a few weeks, has been having parts replaced methodically over the past decade and hasn’t driven in nearly twenty years). Returning home unfortunately meant coming to a place which didn’t have any opportunities for the esoteric degrees I had earned and meant that I had to restart my graduate work in a different field. I’ve been working multiple part-time jobs and attending night classes sporadically over the past decade to allow me to care for my father as he deteriorates (as my married brothers have opted out of the caretaker role), leaving me no time to date, nor the social or financial capital for it. This is a situation that may well continue until I’m forty: in fact, I hope that it does, since the alternative is his death.

    From my discussions online, I’m not alone in such responsibilities keeping me from marriage. Certainly, I’m much younger than most caretakers, due to the later ages of my parents at my birth and the sudden situation of my mother’s unexpected health crisis, but this is something that other men are dealing with too. The irony that I’ve spent my youth for their elder years isn’t lost on me — much less that this likely means that no one will thus be there to care for me when I’m in the same situation that they’ve been in…

  7. 187

    I think it is wrong to assume that just because somebody is unmarried at 40, there is something wrong with them.

    Take this person, who could be a man or a woman.
    1. went to college and had the normal college life of dating, bf/gf, and times of being too busy for a love life.
    2. graduated from college, working hard to find a job. Not focused on a love life yet.
    3. found a job, but there is much to learn and the stress is through the roof. Too tired to make a real effort, so relationships fail before they even launch.
    4. now settled into a good job, and now in late 20s. Date several people looking for the one.
    5. find a good person and start into a relationship. This stretches from late 20s to early 30s.
    6. the relationship fails, so a period of mourning, and concentrating on self starts.
    7. now in mid 30s, a search begins anew. It takes a few years of dating, but you find somebody to enter into a relationship.
    8. it lasts a few years, and now you are very early 40s, and now you find out this person has a deal breaker flaw they were hiding, or you catch them cheating. Relationship ends, so now you single, and over 40.

    I think the only real flaw would be that the person may not have made finding the right person, a big enough priority.

    1. 187.1

      This is the perfect answer to all this debate.   It’s the story of my life and while I have my share of baggage like everybody else,   I believe I’m not damaged goods or incapable of intimacy or whatever other nonsensical theories are carelessly and callously tossed around like awful accusations.   Some people just haven’t found that so called special someone yet and it’s just how it is until he or she does.

  8. 188
    Really True

    Well at 60 years old now divorced again, and Not my fault at all since my first wife Cheated on me and wanted out of the Marriage. Second wife was and still is Bi Polar which was a nightmare for me since she put herself in debt with the Credit Cards, and caused me Bankruptcy too. She would always try to start an argument with me, and the slightest thing that i would say wrong which she would jump down my throat. When i finally left her, she was 55 thousand in debt again. Her daughter was Autistic too which i certainly had my hands full as you can see, but i was very protective of her since many other children would make fun of her. Now single and Alone again makes it very hard at my age trying to meet a good woman to settle down with since many of the women that i meet are Very Stuck Up nowadays, and play very hard to get. At my age now i am certainly Not into the games that these women are playing today, and they really need to Grow Up.

  9. 189

    I would have thought having been seperated would be worse than never having married.  

  10. 190

    I am 42 years old, never married, only 4 relationships my whole life,, lost my virginity at the age of 34.. All not my choice.. I got my first kiss at the age of 21.. Girls always rejected me, still do.. Some things we can not control. I never thought that by now I would never be married, and not have kids. was never my choice. Dont know if it was God’s will,, or the Devils work.
    All through out my 20s and 30s I asked hundreds of females out, all rejected me. Can not change what is meant to be… Hope to hear from you ladies out there.

    1. 190.1


      I think seeing a dating coach can help out with your situation…

  11. 191

    I dated a man who was over 45 never married no kids. He was not going to settle down anytime soon so i got rid of him and he is still single. I found out that he was seeing numerous women and also having a few FWB to boot. Been there done that will never go back

    1. 191.1

      Sounds like this guy’s got the life!

  12. 192

    Really? 5 Hour long telephone conversations and emails nearly as long? And you mean to tell me this question has never come up? Or to put that another way, have you ever asked him why he is still single? Do you believe him, is that the real issue? It seems to me when women ask such a question – is this a red flag – they already think it is. The problem is are you correct. But this is no different than any other chance you take with any other person you date. There are any number of reasons a guy – or girl – might be single at 40 and over and they are not all negative. I would have to say there might be an increasing likelihood of it being negative but until you ask and find out you will never know for sure.

  13. 193

    Steve, just had to add great post that #28. Lets not forget the ol’ “He must be gay” assumption as to why they are single. They have nothing to go on but that he is single. How that equals gay I have yet to figure out but it appears to make women feel better about themselves.
    All I can say is, thanks for the insult – that really makes me want to get to know you- NOT!  

  14. 194

    I have started seeing a 47 year old man who has never been married. He has everything going for him and a fantastic life! I love that he doesn’t need a woman. I’m 49, divorced, and am more concerned about the needy people on their 3rd marriage, or people who.need someone to take care of them. Or like my ex husband, who define being a man as be being in control of a woman. The new guy probably has some attachment issues, but so do I. Its a spectrum anyway, whether needy or avoidant. I love that he doesn’t need a woman to cook, clean, control, or depend on for social or cultural support. He is perfectly competent.

  15. 195
    diet cola

    Well, as a 48-year-old who has never dated or had sex, because of terminal shyness, social anxiety and complete disbelief I have anything to offer or that people should be interested, after reading the comments here I guess I might as well just slit my throat.

  16. 196

    Guys are finally wising up and realizing marriage is a bad deal. Take the redpill and don’t look back.

  17. 197

    I am 46 going on 47 I was diagnosed last year with Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

    I have never had a girlfreind I   have tried but nothing has worked I hope to try and change this through theropy.

  18. 198

    Hi. My comment is a guy never married in his 40s may be date able to some women. For example one woman wrote she is seeing one gentleman and neither of them Are that interested in marriage.  I am a divorced 36 year old woman with no kids who is really looking for marriage and children. The reason I am divorced is because my husband threw me out after he got his Greencard otherwise I would still be married. I am not interested in ltrs that go nowhere.

    In my experience never married guys in their 40s are not As serious about marriage because they have never been committed before, so likely I won’t have success with one of them.

  19. 199

    I am such a mess right now.   I’m a 42 y/o gay black male and lately, most importantly, since my moms death I have been obsessed with love and romance and I feel like I deserve a boyfriend.   Then I have dated a couple of guys and I have been a total asshole to them at the slightest imperfection.   I have a big chip on my shoulder and have even found myself hitting on my straight guy friends.   When they don’t respond I dismiss them.   Who do I think I am.   I know were not suppose to look for love but I don’t want to be an old maid.   Please help   I’m still living with my dad but I haven’t been seeing my therapist

  20. 200

    I love the internet for the vast amount of information.   American women do stereotype men automatically more so then men do to women.   Let’s face it, American women all have an agenda.   I totally agree with Steve, obviously I am not the only one who feels this way.   There are more men out there who have been trying to find the right one such as I.   Sadly, I think I am going to have to renounce my US citizenship and move to another country that is separated from the status quo attitude.   I have been told all my life that it will happen for me, I know now that it is all bull$hit and it won’t as long as I am living in the US.   I have dated numerous times but I seem to attract either the psychos or the ones who are desperate.

    I am NOT looking for a slave which is what every woman here automatically thinks when I say the things I do.   I am looking to actually fall in love and have a woman fall in love with me.   And if it means getting rid of my US citizenship so that I will have what I desire, so be it.   Being a US citizen is actually a curse, not a blessing.


    1. 200.1


      When dating/marriage becomes 100 percent risk and zero percent benefit, there isn’t much point in the so-called pursuit, is there?


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